One clear aspect of the modern workplace is that everyone is more in touch with each other. Whether we work in a large corporation or as part of a small business, we are always in touch with each other. We can pick up the phone or send an email. Sometimes we can even walk down the hall for a chat.
So why don’t more of us offer support? We’re not talking about disabled employees here (although they do need support from time to time) but instead employees and colleagues in general. The people who you work with. Those who share your professional space.
Sometimes the one thing that is missing from the modern professional workplace is constructive criticism. You would be hard pressed to find any professional who didn’t welcome constructive criticism. It helps. It validates too.
If we are told that we have merits in one area, and faults in another, this validates us as professionals. We begin to understand that we can improve from a point of quality. It makes us feel better and helps us to grow as professionals.
And this is where mentoring comes in. Unless we are in an organisation where we can be professionally mentored, we will never get to that point where we feel better and we can grow. Mentoring is important, and it helps with employee retention too.
Actively searching mentoring possibilities
As if there was any evidence needed beyond what you see in your own organisation, take a look at this article here, which focuses on the fact that one in five employees would actively welcome mentoring in their workplace. This is an encouraging fact, and it shows how people understand the benefits of mentoring.
So what does mentoring really do? Well, it provides a listening ear first of all. the best mentors in any organisation hardly talk when they mentor. Listening is the most important aspect of a good mentor and his or her work. And it’s what the mentees appreciate the most. When you think about it, this makes great sense. You are asking someone about their challenges and difficulties in their workplace, and their own thoughts about it. They will feel the need to talk. So a mentor lets them talk.
Good mentoring also provides the mentee with learning opportunities, that growth we were talking about earlier. The opportunity to learn is highlighted in the article with a quote from the MD of Penna Talent, who says:
“The biggest risk to retention is a lack of learning opportunities…we know now that if employees don’t maintain a steep learning curve they are unlikely to stay.”
It’s like the old advice offered to any would-be leader. Always promote your best people, or they will leave you.
We’re encouraged by the findings of this report. If anything, the information shows that employers need to work with their employees on a more positive and forward-thinking basis. It’s no longer just about work and productivity, it’s about the person behind the job title, and their own professional growth.